WOMAN’S WEDDING ANNIVERSARY RUINED BY LOCAL DENTIST’S BOTCHED BRIDGEWORK
• 56-year-old Mrs Yvonne Carter from Great Barr, Birmingham, left in excruciating pain after local dentist placed poor dental bridge
• Mrs Carter was prescribed six courses of antibiotics before the dentist finally said the bridge should probably be removed
• Pain ruined special holiday for 30th wedding anniversary
• £8,000 received in compensation and cost of holiday refunded
Mrs Yvonne Carter, a 56-year-old aerospace technician from Great Barr, Birmingham, has won £8,000 in compensation from her local dentist with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership. The dentist’s failure to provide adequate bridgework caused Mrs Carter months of excruciating pain and infection.
In January 2016, Mrs Carter visited Scott Arms Dental Practice in Birmingham. She required specialist dental work and visited the practice following a recommendation from a friend.
“I had veneers but they kept cracking,” Mrs Carter explained. “I needed to get the problem resolved so decided to find a really good dentist. Scott Arms Dental Practice came highly recommended from a friend so I felt I could trust a dentist there to do a good job. But unfortunately this turned out not to be the case.”
In January 2016, Mrs Carter saw Dr David Pirie at the dental practice, who advised that she needed a dental bridge. So Mrs Carter went ahead with the procedure, and a bridge was fitted over two appointments in February 2016 and March 2016. But later in March 2016 Mrs Carter was back at Scott Arms Dental Practice because she was suffering from severe pain.
“The bridge was very painful,” Mrs Carter recalls. “But the dentist said it was nothing to worry about, and that my mouth was only sensitive because the bridge had just been fitted. The dentist prescribed antibiotics and said this medication should stop the pain.”
But for the next month Mrs Carter continued to experience extreme discomfort. So she returned to see Dr Pirie in April 2016.
“My husband and I were about to go on holiday for our 30th wedding anniversary,” Mrs Carter recalls. “I had to get something done so Dr Pirie gave me a second batch of antibiotics to take with me. But they did nothing to resolve the problem and I was in so much pain it completely ruined our anniversary holiday. I couldn’t leave the hotel room because of the pain. It was so depressing.”
Soon after Mrs Carter returned from holiday, the gums around her bridge swelled-up significantly. Over the next month she visited Dr Pirie on multiple occasions as the swelling did not go down. But his only solution was to prescribe more antibiotics.
“It was horrible,” Mrs Carter said. “I couldn’t sleep, I was having problems eating and it knocked my confidence so much that I stopped socialising with friends. I kept telling Dr Pirie that it felt like the bridge was moving, and that I had swelling, and a massive sore lump in my mouth. But he just said he’d keep an eye on it and prescribed yet more antibiotics.”
Mrs Carter returned to the dental practice on two further occasions in May 2016 as the pain had become even more unbearable.
“I’d had six courses of antibiotics by this point and the pain was worse than ever,” Mrs Carter explained. “I couldn’t eat any solid food as it was so painful to bite down and I was getting awful headaches. It was so upsetting, I’d finally had enough and had lost all confidence in him. A new dentist finally told me that the bridge would probably need to be removed..”
Mrs Carter contacted the Dental Law Partnership. Analysis of her dental records revealed that Dr Pirie had fitted a dental bridge that was not fit for purpose, neither had he used reasonable skill and care when he fitted it. The poor fit of the bridge caused Mrs Carter months of excruciating pain and an array of unnecessary trips to the dentist. She is now likely to need dentures in the future.
“It makes me so angry,” Mrs Carter said. “I experienced almost a year of hell and it was all because Dr Pirie wasn’t doing his job properly. And to top it off it ruined my wedding anniversary. I wish I’d never gone to see him in the first place.”
Georgina France of the Dental Law Partnership commented: “What our client went through was completely unnecessary. If the dentist had undertaken the proper treatment in the first place all the suffering she experienced could have been avoided. We hope the compensation she receives goes some way towards paying for any additional treatment required.”
The Dental Law Partnership took on Mrs Carter’s case in May 2016. The case was successfully settled in September 2017 when the dentist paid £8,000 in an out of court settlement having already provided Mrs Carter with a refund of £3,000 for her ruined holiday. The dentist did not admit liability.